Like many of Dickens's novels, 'Nicholas Nickleby' is characterised by his criticism of cruelty and social injustice, but above all it is one of the greatest comic masterpieces of 19th-century literature.
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Nicholas Nickleby is one of Dickens's early novels, a popular melodrama with a rich list of characters. When his father dies penniless, Nicholas Nickleby, his mother and his sister Kate are thrown on the mercy of his corrupt uncle Ralph Nickleby. Sent away to teach at the infamous Dotheboys Hall, run by the sadistic Wackford Squeers, Nicholas eventually absconds, but not before rescuing the poor abused Smike. He returns home just in time to save his sister from the unwanted attentions of Sir Mulberry Hawk, and eventually his family's fortunes are restored. Illustrated by H K Browne 'Phiz', with an Afterword by David Stuart Davies.